Cedarburg Bog

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The Cedarburg Bog is a registered National Natural Landmark and State Natural Area located in Ozaukee County. The landmass spans over 3.47 square miles, or 2,200 acres, and consists of a diverse wildlife. The Cedarburg Bog is a unique area of land in southeastern Wisconsin because it is the most intact and natural Bog in all of that region of the state. The Bog is referred to as a peat-land or fen, and consists of six lakes resulting from once being a large glacial lake. Primarily owned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, there is also private land ownership. [1]

History and Founding

Prior to the early 1940's, the Cedarburg Bog was primarily privately owned. Owners of the bog used it for all kinds of hunting, especially duck hunting. Even hunters from surrounding communities, like Milwaukee, would come to the bog and participate in waterfowl hunting. In 1952, the Cedarburg Bog was designated as a Wisconsin State Natural Area. [2] In 1973 the bog started to gain popularity and was newly designated as a National Natural Landmark.

Current Operations



Pictured above, the Cedarburg Bog utilizes a boardwalk, which allows visitors to hike through the natural area without disturbing the peat lands. The boardwalk is accessible from numerous public parking lots, which are located around the border of the Bog on Highway 33 and Cedar Sauk Road.

Hunting and Trapping

With the Cedarburg Bog being owned by multiple parties, including the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Field Station, the rules regarding hunting and trapping vary on the section of land in question. The land owned by the Wisconsin DNR is marked as public hunting grounds and also allows for trapping. However, the land owned by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Field Station does not allow hunting or trapping to occur on their property. There are also residential properties in the Bog that are private property, so a person would need to receive permission from the land owner to have access to hunt or trap on their land. Some of the animals that the Wisconsin DNR allow to be trapped in the Cedarburg Bog are Fishers, Otters, and other small game. The Wisconsin DNR also authorizes the hunting of White-tailed Deer, turkeys, and waterfowl on their property. [3]


Mudd lake, the largest and most utilized water mass in the Bog, contains a diverse aquatic community. Along with privately owned lakes some of the commonly found fish in the Cedarburg Bog are large mouth and small mouth bass, northern pike, walleye, perch, rock bass, bluegills, and crappies.

Cross-Country Skiing

During the summer time, the Cedarburg Bog is a popular destination for many people. When winter begins to bear down on the area and everything begins to freeze up in the Bog, it brings about a whole different reason to enjoy what the Cedarburg Bog has to offer. In the winter, the Bog can be quite a spectacle because of the snow covering the trees, and the many various creeks running underneath the snow. This also brings the opportunity for cross-country skiing. Many of the summer walking trails get converted to skiing trails when the snow finally blankets the Bog. Cross country skiing clubs will come from miles around to experience the natural beauty of the Bog as they weave their way through the trees and other amazing spectacles the Bog offers. Sometimes, these clubs will see some wildlife such as coyotes, otters and whitetail deer.

Kayaking and Canoeing

Although most people think of the Cedarburg Bog as just a marshy swamp area, it actually is home to many beautiful lakes that are great for recreational activities such as canoeing or kayaking. Mud lake is one of the more popular lakes for this activity though, because of its size and natural beauty. Every year, multiple kayaking or canoeing groups will make the trip to the bog, as it is a prime destination for this activity. A lot of these groups will be able to experience and see many different types of wildlife that are hard to find all in one place.


Amphibians and Reptiles

The Cedarburg Bog is home to many different types of species, such as amphibians and reptiles. Frogs and toads are quite abundant and common to the bog. Some of them include the American bullfrog, gray treefrog, wood frog and four other popular frogs. Another species that is seen quite often are salamanders, and the bog is home to four different types of salamanders. Snakes also slither their way through the bog. The two main kinds of snakes that call the bog their home is the eastern milksnake and the common gartersnake. Other snakes include the northern watersnake, midland brownsnake, and the red-bellied snake. These snakes aren't as common, but they have been seen in the bog. The last type of amphibian is the turtle. The two well-known turtles in the bog are the painted turtle and the snapping turtle. [4]


The Cedarburg Bog is the temporary home for hundreds of species of birds throughout the seasons and a permanent home to dozens of species as well. The species of birds commonly found in the Bog for more than three seasons a year are; the American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Seagull, Virginia Rail, American Kestrel, numerous species of Hawks, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, Sparrows, Woodpeckers, Eastern Bluebird, Brown Creeper, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Horned Lark, and Canada Goose. [5] In the Cedarburg Bog, 19 species of breeding birds that travel no further south settle in the Bog. [6]


Commonly seen mammals in the Cedarburg Bog are opossum, bats, chipmunks, squirrels, mice, voles, muskrats, coyotes, red fox, raccoons, weasels, minks, skunks, and white-tailed deer. Other mammals known to be in the Bog are otters, rats, beavers, woodchucks, and moles. The Bog has also experienced accounts over the last half century that have seen black bears, wolves, and badgers in or around the Cedarburg Bog. [7]


The following is a list of the commonly found fish in the Cedarburg Bog; large mouth bass, small mouth bass, northern pike, walleye, perch, rock bass, bluegills, and crappies.

National Natural Landmark


In 1973, the Cedarburg Bog became a National Natural Landmark. This plaque reads, "This site possesses exceptional value as an illustration of the nation's natural heritage and contributes to a better understanding of man's environment."


  1. "Friends of the Cedarburg Bog", accessed May 3, 2018, https://bogfriends.org,
  2. "Friends of the Cedarburg Bog", accessed May 3, 2018, https://bogfriends.org,
  3. "Cedarburg Bog", accessed May 3, 2018, https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Lands/naturalareas/index.asp?SNA=2,
  4. "Friends of the Cedarburg Bog", accessed May 3, 2018, https://bogfriends.org,
  5. "Friends of the Cedarburg Bog", accessed May 3, 2018, https://bogfriends.org,
  6. "Cedarburg Bog", accessed May 3, 2018, http://uwm.edu/field-station/about/natural-areas/cedarburg-bog,
  7. "Friends of the Cedarburg Bog", accessed May 3, 2018, https://bogfriends.org,






Article History

  • Originated by: Marcus Renkas, Chase Kraus
  • Major Contributor: Marcus Renkas, Chase Kraus
  • Additional Contributors
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